Quiet Riot

Quiet Riot

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Few people are aware that, prior to their amazing chart-topping success in 1983/1984, Quiet Riot had already released two albums in the late '70s through CBS Japan -- and featuring guitar god in training Randy Rhoads, no less. In fact, like many hard rock bands feeling ostracized by record companies during the disco era (Cheap Trick, Van Halen, etc.), Quiet Riot found a welcoming audience in the land of the rising sun, where fans' obsession with '70s album rock was just now coming to a head. Sure, none of Quiet Riot's efforts could even compare to the aforementioned bands in popularity (or quality), but they would at least plant the seeds for Radny's eventual stardom with Ozzy. Launched by a humongous Rhoads guitar riff, album-opener "It's Not So Funny" is a promising start, but it's mostly downhill from there on out. Main offenders "Ravers," "Back to the Coast," and the positively hilarious "Demolition Derby" (complete with cheesy sound effects) are quite honestly garage band fodder -- awkward and uncomfortable, both in their songwriting and execution. "Look in Any Window" tries to pack some drama (but fails), while "Fit to Be Tied" is the band's halfhearted nod to glam rock, and the only hint here of singer Kevin DuBrow's Slade fetish (which would later pay high dividends). As for the motor-mouthed DuBrow, his voice already shows a lot of power and range, but his lyrics spew rock cliché upon rock cliché with grimace-inducing regularity, and his sense of metrics remains underdeveloped at best. As a player, Rhoads too is barely out of kindergarten by latter-day standards. His playing here is uniformly dull and uninventive, so collectors and blind worshipers should beware.

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